Controversy over Trinity College eco-improvements
24 February 2013
Trinity College, Cambridge is considering new renovations to New Court, a venue that is almost 200 years old, to make it more energy efficient.
The law states that all rented properties, including thousands of properties that are in Grade II and I areas of Belgravia, Bath and on National Trust and Crown lands, will need to abide by minimum energy standards to avoid breaking the rules laid out in the 2011 Energy Act. Proposals regarding the New Court building would be the most radical attempted, reducing carbon emissions by as much as 88% and cutting its heating bill by tens of thousands of pounds annually.
Suggested improvements include wood fibre “Pavadentro” board wall insulation, rooftop solar panels and a new underground heating system. The plans also suggest replacing the building’s single-paned windows with double glazed “Histoglass”, ultra thin glazing that would be made to look old to match the Georgian glass it is replacing.
“If Grade I listed buildings can’t be lived in because they are too costly to heat, or are in breach of regulations, then what is their future?” argues Dr Rod Pullen, junior bursar of Trinity College.
Oliver Smith of 5th Studio, the company behind the Trinity proposals said “This is a really big issue waiting in the wings. There are lots of privately rented flats and homes in Grade I and Grade II* listed buildings that will need radical refurbishment. We can’t just stick our heads in the sand.”
Cold weather a boost to Birmingham glaziers
07 February 2013
While many have been complaining about the recent bouts of snow and cold weather, one sector to see a lot of benefit from the cold is the double glazing industry. In Birmingham the damage to double glazing caused by the cold as been causing home owners to hire double glazing repairs at rapid speeds.
Birmingham glazing company Glaze Rite have reported that they have had record-breaking volumes of work thanks to the snow and low temperatures.
The company argues that its approach to double glazing is different, fixing windows rather than replacing them whenever possible.
With forecasters predicting more snowfall to come over the weekend, and temperatures struggling to rise over 4 degrees Celsius, it looks like this trend could continue for the foreseeable future.
Today the Met Office issued a warning saying "There is a risk that a band of rain spreading from the southwest during Sunday will turn to sleet and snow. There is the potential for accumulations up to 10 cm in places and the public should be aware of possible disruption to travel."
Whether this cold weather continues to channel business into the double glazing and energy efficiency sectors remains to be seen.
Critics suggest Green Deal may cause consumers to spend more than they save
02 February 2013
The government’s new “Green Deal”, designed to encourage families to introduce more eco-friendly home improvements, has been criticised by those who argue that the cost benefits given through the deal will be cancelled out by the cost of the inspectors needed to come round and establish whether the work needs to be done.
There are 40 firms in the UK, such as B&Q and British Gas, who are approved to carry out “Green Deal” work. These firms can charge as much as £180 to inspect premises to see if they would benefit from energy-efficiency improvement work. If they get approval, those householders can them claim cash back from the Government to pay for green home improvements.
However, some companies will refund the cost of the inspection process. Other cash back offers include £100 cash back for loft insulation, or £250 for cavity wall insulation, or £320 for double-glazing. This refund is given once you have signed a contract for the improvements to be performed by one of the 24 authorised companies who can do the work.
A spokesperson for the uSwith price comparison website said, “Don’t be put off paying for the assessment – look upon it as a prescription of how to cure a sick home in need of help to make it more energy efficient. But it may well save you money if you use a company to do the work that is not signed up to the Green Deal.”
“Unfortunately, energy bills are likely to rise over the next few years. By acting now – whether you take the Green Deal or not – you will be saving on your energy bills in the long run.”
Anglian offers £5,000 of double glazing to lucky winners
01 February 2013
Anglian Home Improvements has teamed up with the popular women’s home, food and wellbeing site allaboutyou.com to award one homeowner £5,000 worth of double glazed windows.
The competition winner will be able to choose from wooden, aluminium and uPVC frames, tilt and turn and sash styles, and Anglian’s advanced energy-saving “EcoGain” windows. To get a chance to win the drawer entrants must enter their details at this address: http://www.allaboutyou.com/competitions/26154
Customers can also have an opportunity to win £100 worth of M&S Home vouchers by ‘Liking’ Anglian on Facebook.
Anglian Home Improvements was established in 1966, going on to become the UK’s largest double glazing window, door and conservatory specialist.